City of Watertown, NY
Jefferson County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Watertown as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Brush, grass and weeds — See Ch. 98.
Outdoor burning — See Ch. 108.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 177.
Sanitation — See Ch. 248.
Fees — See Ch. A320.
[Adopted 7-2-1990[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Art. I, Placing or Dumping of Rubbish, adopted as Secs. 59-2, 59-3 and 59-4 of Ch. 59 of the 1949 Code, as amended.

§ 161-1 Rubbish creating nuisance prohibited.

No person shall place or deposit or, as owner, agent or tenant, allow or permit to remain in or upon any land or the surface of the same any rubbish, as defined in §§ 248-1 and 161-1.1, which tends to or does create a nuisance or which tends to or does serve as a breeding place for flies or mosquitoes or as a source of food for rats or which tends to or does increase the fire hazard of neighboring property. Rubbish may be contained in suitable watertight containers for proper disposal pursuant to § 161-1.1.

§ 161-1.1 Dumping of rubbish prohibited; definition.

A. 
No person shall place or deposit or, as owner, agent or tenant, allow or permit to remain in or upon private property or any property of the City of Watertown, particularly the margin between the sidewalk and the street, any rubbish, as set forth herein, except on the day of regularly scheduled trash pickup for that property in suitable watertight containers.
B. 
"Rubbish" shall mean any refuse, filth, dirt, waste matter, sweepings, garbage, putrescible matter, decomposable or organic matter, carcass, sewage, excrement, swill, slops, malodorous or obnoxious liquids or substances, compost, ashes, soot, tin cans, leaves, brush, weeds, grass, straw, hay, excelsior, shavings, barrels, crates, boxes, litter, easily combustible matter, used furniture or appliances or other substance or material offensive or dangerous to the public or detrimental to its health.

§ 161-2 Removal by Health Officer.

If the provisions of the foregoing sections are violated, the Health Officer may proceed under the provisions of § 172-4 to remove such rubbish. The City Council may designate representatives of various City departments to assist the Health Officer in citing and correcting the aforementioned nuisances.

§ 161-2.1 Citation of violators.

[Amended 3-3-2003]
Violators of §§ 161-1 and 161-1.1 shall be subject to a written citation to correct such conditions within 48 hours or be required to appear in Watertown City Court to answer the citation following the expiration of the forty-eight-hour period. If the condition is corrected within the forty-eight-hour grace period, then the person cited shall be deemed to have complied with requirements of this section and shall not be required to appear in court.

§ 161-3 Dumping upon property of another without consent.

[Amended 3-18-2002 by L.L. No. 5-2002]
No person shall place or deposit any rubbish upon any property of another.

§ 161-4 Penalties for offenses.

[Amended 4-2-2007 by L.L. No. 4-2007]
Any person, firm or corporation violating any provision of this article shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $250 for a first offense; not less than $100 nor more than $250 for a second offense; and not less than $200 nor more than $250 for a third, or more, offenses, all within the same calendar year. Each day of a continued violation is a separate and distinct offense. In addition to the aforementioned fines, the City of Watertown shall be entitled to seek reimbursement for any costs it may incur in the removal of such rubbish, pursuant to § 161-2 of this chapter and § 172-4 of the Code of the City of Watertown, and such reimbursement may be ordered by the Court in the assessment of fines, penalties and restitution of costs incurred by the City of Watertown.
[Adopted 1-15-1968]

§ 161-5 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
GARBAGE
Animal and vegetable waste resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking and serving of food, exclusive of liquid.
RECYCLABLES
Newspapers, magazines, junk mail, office and school paper, plastic bottles with the "1," "2," "3" or "5" designation, metal cans, clear, green and brown glass bottles and jars.
[Added 3-18-2002 by L.L. No. 5-2002]
A. 
Garbage and ordinary household rubbish such as nonrecyclable cans, bottles, paper, rags, cartons, and similar household articles which accumulate daily.
[Amended 3-18-2002 by L.L. No. 5-2002]
B. 
Shall not include demolition materials, large quantities of lumber, construction, building and roofing materials, stones, bricks, dirt, used automobile chassis, tree limbs in excess of four inches in diameter and four feet in length and unbundled brush in excess of one inch in diameter and four feet in length.

§ 161-6 Scope of City collection services.

[Amended 12-1-1986 by L.L. No. 1-1986]
A. 
The City shall provide, with City forces, a refuse collection service to all residents of the City, excluding motels, hotels, churches and nonprofit fraternal associations. The City collection service shall not be provided to schools, restaurants, commercial properties, industries, clubs, hospitals, stores or similar institutions. The requirements of all other sections of this article on preparation and storage of refuse apply to churches and nonprofit fraternal associations as well as to residences.
B. 
(Reserved)[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection B, regarding bulk item waste collections scheduled by the Department of Public Works, added 8-7-1989, was repealed 3-18-2002 by L.L. No. 5-2002.
C. 
Mandatory refuse recycling. Commencing on November 4, 1991, mandatory refuse recycling will be implemented for all City of Watertown residents provided with City refuse collection services. The Superintendent of Public Works is authorized to promulgate and enforce such rules and regulations as to ensure compliance with New York State and/or County of Jefferson recycling requirements or such other mandates as imposed by the City Council.
[Added 10-7-1991]
D. 
No recycling services will be provided to any City resident who does not participate in the municipal refuse collection services as provided at § 161-22 of this Code.
[Added 3-18-2002 by L.L. No. 5-2002]

§ 161-7 (Reserved)

§ 161-8 (Reserved) [1]

[1]
Editor's Note: Former §§ 161-7, Preparation of garbage and refuse, and 161-8, Containers, were repealed 3-18-2002 by L.L. No. 5-2002.

§ 161-9 Location of containers.

[Amended 8-3-1976; 5-30-1989; 7-1-1991[1]]
The containers for refuse collection shall be kept in a suitable, regular yard location or interior location on private property by the occupant of the residence in a manner which does not constitute an annoyance or nuisance to the public. If in a yard location, the containers shall be kept at ground level at the rear building line of the house or residence. The refuse containers shall be placed at the curbside in front of the residence on the appropriate day for the collection of refuse for that section of the City in which the residence is located. It shall be the responsibility of the occupant of the residence to place the refuse containers at the curbside for collection and to remove said refuse containers from the curbside after collection is completed. After completion of the collection process, the refuse containers shall be returned to the aforementioned rear building line of the house or residence or to the interior location. Those elderly and/or physically disadvantaged who are unable to carry their refuse to the curb may have it removed from them by City crews, and such inability shall be attested to by medical personnel.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance shall become effective September 3, 1991.

§ 161-10 Collection schedule.

The schedule for City refuse collection shall be as established by annual budget appropriation. There shall be no City refuse collection service on New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

§ 161-11 Rules and regulations.

The City Manager is hereby empowered to make and put into effect rules and regulations for providing the City refuse collection service.

§ 161-12 License required for private transportation or collection of refuse.

[Amended 2-23-1981; 5-26-1981; 6-20-1983; 12-1-1986 by L.L. No. 1-1986; 10-21-1991 by L.L. No. 6-1991; 3-18-2002 by L.L. No. 5-2002]
No person or entity other than the City shall collect or transport refuse from one-family, two-family, or three-family dwellings in the City without having first obtained a license for the same issued on a form prescribed by the City Clerk. Such license shall be issued annually, on or before April 15th of each calendar year, and shall only be issued upon application to the City Clerk, which application shall include the following information:
A. 
The name, address, and telephone number of the person or the entity conducting the collection or transportation activity;
B. 
If the entity is a corporation, partnership, limited-liability company, or other legal entity, the name, address, and telephone number of the person to whom legal notice may be sent;
C. 
A certification by the person or entity seeking the license that it will provide the collection of refuse from each of its City customers at least once per week;
D. 
A certification by the person or entity seeking the license that it will provide the collection of recyclables from each of its City customers at least once every two weeks;
E. 
A certification by the person or entity seeking the license that it will comply with all state, county and City laws and regulations, including this article, pertaining to the collection, transportation and disposition of refuse and recyclables;
F. 
A certification that each vehicle used to transport refuse or recyclables has been inspected and registered as required by this chapter;
G. 
Proof of payment of the vehicle inspection and registration fees as prescribed in this chapter; and
H. 
Each application for a permit, if required, shall be accompanied by a check, or other form of payment acceptable to the City of Watertown, in the amount established at least annually by the Watertown City Council through a budget resolution that adopts a City Fees and Charges Schedule. Said schedule shall be available to the public at the office of the Watertown City Clerk.
[Amended 6-1-2009 by L.L. No. 2-2009; 8-15-2016 by L.L. No. 2-2016]

§ 161-13 Required equipment for transporting refuse and recyclables.

[Added 3-18-2002 by L.L. No. 5-2002[1]]
A. 
Each vehicle used to transport refuse collected by a person or entity providing a refuse collection service for one-family, two-family and three-family dwellings in the City shall be rigid body and closed, and watertight, meaning that the vehicle's box is capable of holding two inches of water in the bottom of the box without leaking or spillage.
B. 
Each vehicle used to transport recyclables must be rigid body and closed, or have all sides enclosed and covered with a tarp, such that it will not permit material to escape or to be discharged while traveling the City roadways.
C. 
Each refuse and/or recycling vehicle shall be equipped with a shovel, broom, and a minimum fire extinguisher capacity of 20A, 40BC. Each such vehicle shall display the name of the licensee, with telephone number, and the licensee's permit number on each side of the vehicle or its box in letters of at least four inches in height.
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law also repealed former § 161-13, Identification tags on private vehicles.

§ 161-14 City registration of vehicles for transporting refuse and recyclables.

[Added 3-18-2002 by L.L. No. 5-2002[1]]
A. 
Each vehicle used to collect or transport refuse or recyclables in the City, other than City vehicles, must be registered with the City Clerk before it may be used in connection with the license issued under § 161-12. Registration of vehicles is limited to the City's insurance that each vehicle complies with the equipment requirements contained at § 161-13.
B. 
Each vehicle proposed for registration must be inspected by the Code Enforcement Officer or his designee, in writing, for that purpose. Inspections shall be conducted at such times and places as the licensee and the City representative shall agree, and shall be valid for a period of one year.
C. 
If a vehicle meets the City's requirements upon inspection, the City Clerk shall, upon payment of the appropriate fee, issue a certificate of vehicle registration on a form prescribed by the City Clerk, which form must be prominently displayed in the cab of the vehicle.
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law also renumbered former §§ 161-14 through 161-16 as 161-20 through 161-22, respectively.

§ 161-15 Annual fees.

[Added 3-18-2002 by L.L. No. 5-2002; amended 8-15-2016 by L.L. No. 2-2016]
The annual fee for licensing under § 161-12, together with the fee to be collected for registration/inspection for each vehicle proposed to be utilized, prior to each annual inspection, shall be as established at least annually by the Watertown City Council through a budget resolution that adopts a City Fees and Charges Schedule. Said schedule shall be available to the public at the office of the Watertown City Clerk.

§ 161-16 Services to be provided by private collectors.

[Added 3-18-2002 by L.L. No. 5-2002]
Any person or entity other than the City collecting refuse from one-family, two-family, or three-family dwellings in the City shall provide each of its customers with refuse collection service at least once per week. Such person or entity must also provide those same customers with recyclables collection, which service must be provided at least once every two weeks.

§ 161-17 Failure to provide service as required.

[Added 3-18-2002 by L.L. No. 5-2002]
Any person or entity obligated to provide the services required by § 161-16 and which fails to provide that service shall be subject to the revocation of its license and/or vehicle registration by the City's Superintendent of Public Works after a hearing held by him on at least 10 calendar days' notice commenced by mailing by certified mail, return receipt requested, of a notice for the hearing, to the address provided in accordance with § 161-12A or B of this chapter.

§ 161-18 Penalties for failure to comply with licensing, registration and inspection requirements.

[Added 3-18-2002 by L.L. No. 5-2002]
Any person or entity which operates a vehicle in the City for the collection or transportation of refuse or recyclables without complying with the licensing requirements of § 161-12 or the vehicle registration and inspection requirements of § 161-14 shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine of not less than $150 nor more than $250. Each day of continued violation is a separate and distinct offense.

§ 161-19 Additional remedies.

[Added 3-18-2002 by L.L. No. 5-2002]
In addition to any of the penalties called for under §§ 161-17 and 161-18 of this Code, the City may commence an action to compel compliance with this chapter or to enjoin the collection of refuse or recyclables by any person or entity which has failed to obtain or maintain the licenses or inspections or registrations required by this chapter.

§ 161-19.1 Parking of refuse vehicles or refuse containers.

[Added 8-3-1976; amended 8-31-1976]
No refuse vehicle or refuse container shall be parked or placed within 15 feet of a party line without the written consent of the adjoining owner, if the owner occupies any part of the adjoining property. If the adjoining property is rented or leased, then written consent must be obtained from the owner or lessee. All written consents must be filed by the owner of the adjoining property with the Health Officer.

§ 161-20 Locations where City collection service not provided.

[Added 1-21-1980]
A. 
The owner, tenant, manager or occupant of any building, structure, store, commercial or industrial establishment, land or location where City refuse collection is not provided shall provide and maintain, in good order and repair, garbage, trash or refuse receptacles of sufficient number to contain the garbage, trash or refuse that will accumulate on the premises, and each said owner, tenant, manager or occupant shall be responsible for maintaining supervision over the garbage, trash or refuse receptacles serving such premises.
B. 
Unauthorized use of receptacles. It shall be unlawful for any person to place or permit another to place any garbage, trash or refuse in any garbage, trash or refuse receptacles unless the garbage, trash or refuse is from the premises served by the receptacles.
C. 
Receptacles shall consist of metal or plastic garbage cans and dumpsters.
D. 
Doors, covers and lids on garbage, trash or refuse receptacles, including dumpsters, shall be kept closed, except when garbage, trash and refuse is being loaded into receptacles, and said doors, covers and lids shall fit tightly on the receptacles, including dumpsters.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection (E), Penalty, which immediately followed this subsection, was deleted 12-1-1986 by L.L. No. 1-1986. For current penalty provisions relating to the entire chapter, see § 161-15.
E. 
All dumpsters shall be sprayed with a sanitizing solution immediately after emptying. This would be accomplished by the property owner or refuse collector.
[Added 12-1-1986 by L.L. No. 1-1986]

§ 161-21 Penalties for offenses.

[Added 12-1-1986 by L.L. No. 1-1986; amended 4-2-2007 by L.L. No. 4-2007]
Any person, firm or corporation violating any provision of this article shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $250 for a first offense; not less than $100 nor more than $250 for a second offense; and not less than $200 nor more than $250 for a third, or more, offenses, all within the same calendar year. Each day of a continued violation is a separate and distinct offense.

§ 161-22 City disposal bags; definitions; requirements; fees; penalties for offenses.

[Added 4-20-1992]
A. 
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
[Amended 7-6-1999]
CITY DISPOSAL STICKER
A sticker available from the City or its agents which shall bear an identification mark established by the City.
CITY USER
A person who is a legal resident of the City of Watertown and who purchases City disposal stickers and uses them in accordance with this section.
DISPOSAL BAG
Any plastic bag of less than 33 gallons which bears a City disposal sticker. This shall be the only means by which City residents can dispose of their garbage and rubbish by City haulers.
MULTIPLE DWELLING
Such premises as are rented or leased, which are occupied as the residence or home of three or more families, living independently of each other, as further defined by the Multiple Dwelling Law of the State of New York, pursuant to § 4 of that law.
OWNERS OF MULTIPLE DWELLINGS
Such individuals, corporations or other legal entities who or which own residential properties which are defined as multiple dwellings, pursuant to § 4 of the Multiple Dwelling Law of the State of New York.
B. 
Established rates. The City will purchase stickers meeting specifications set by the City Council. The price of the sticker to the City users shall be as established at least annually by the Watertown City Council through a budget resolution that adopts a City Fees and Charges Schedule. Said schedule shall be available to the public at the office of the Watertown City Clerk.
[Amended 1-4-1994; 10-7-1996; 7-6-1999[1]; 7-6-1999[2]; 5-26-2012[3]; 8-15-2016 by L.L. No. 2-2016]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance was superseded by a second ordinance, also adopted 7-6-1999, which went into effect 9-1-1999.
[2]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided that the Department of Public Works will continue to collect the former City disposal bags (blue) and that it shall go into effect 9-1-1999.
[3]
Editor's Note: This ordinance provided an effective date of 7-1-2012.
C. 
Preparation and collection of garbage and rubbish.
[Amended 7-6-1999]
(1) 
City residents utilizing the municipal garbage and rubbish pickup services shall be required to dispose of all garbage and rubbish in the disposal bag which must bear a City disposal sticker.
(2) 
In the event that a City resident decides to utilize a private garbage and rubbish pickup service, the resident is subject to the below-stated City enforcement collection fees in the event that the private pickup fails to remove the resident's garbage or rubbish and such garbage and rubbish is nonbagged as required by this section.
(3) 
Disposal bags cannot exceed 33 gallons. In no instance shall the bags be packed so as to contain more than their intended weight. Collectible material must be properly sealed and presented and set at curbside no sooner than 7:00 p.m. on the day before scheduled collection and not later than 7:00 a.m. the day of scheduled collection. All nonbagged garbage and rubbish will be left and will be subject to prosecution as litter and also subject to a special collection fee as established by the City Council of the City of Watertown at least annually through a budget resolution that adopts a City Fees and Charges Schedule in the amounts available. Such schedule shall be available to the public at the office of the Watertown City Clerk.
[Amended 8-15-2016 by L.L. No. 2-2016; 9-19-2016]
D. 
Requirements for multiple dwellings. All of the requirements of the Multiple Dwelling Law of the State of New York, with respect to the removal of garbage, rubbish, refuse and other waste matter in a multiple dwelling, apartment or such premises, shall be incorporated into this section by reference. Each owner of a multiple dwelling within the City of Watertown is deemed to have constructive notice of the Multiple Dwelling Law of the State of New York incorporated herein. Pursuant to the requirements of the Multiple Dwelling Law of the State of New York, it shall be the responsibility of the owner of said multiple dwelling to provide for the removal of rubbish, garbage, refuse and other waste from said multiple dwelling in compliance with the applicable laws of the City of Watertown and specifically with respect to compliance with the City's disposal bag requirement, pursuant to this section.
E. 
Penalties for offenses.
(1) 
Owners of property other than multiple dwellings.
(a) 
Any person violating any of the terms of this section shall, upon conviction thereof, be liable for a civil penalty as follows:
[1] 
Not less than $50 for a first offense.
[2] 
Not less than $100 for a second offense.
[3] 
Not less than $250 for a third offense.
(b) 
Further, in addition to the civil penalty, violators will be liable for the actual costs incurred by the Department of Public Works of the City of Watertown due to any costs incurred by said Department for the removal of such litter.
(c) 
A third offense shall constitute the basis for a separate court action in Watertown City Court as a violation of the litter laws of the City of Watertown and shall, in addition to the aforementioned monetary penalties, subject the offender to a possible jail sentence of up to 15 days in the county jail.
(2) 
Owners of multiple dwellings.
(a) 
Owners of multiple dwellings, pursuant to the applicable sections of the Multiple Dwelling Law of the State of New York, shall be subject to the following fine structure:
[1] 
For the first offense: $50.
[2] 
For the second offense: $250.
[3] 
For a third or subsequent offense rising from the failure to remove the violation upon the first and second offenses: $500.
(b) 
In addition, a civil penalty in the amount of $250 shall be levied against the tax bill of the property in question, if the violation has not been corrected within five days of the service of notice.
(c) 
Further, the actual costs incurred for the removal of the garbage or refuse constituting a nuisance shall additionally be imposed against the tax bill for said property.
(d) 
A third or subsequent offense shall additionally be prosecuted pursuant to the litter laws of the City of Watertown in Watertown City Court and shall potentially subject an offender, in addition to the aforementioned fines and civil penalties, to a jail term not to exceed 15 days in the county jail.